By Jeremy McDonald
KEIZER, Ore.– McNary didn’t make it easy for Sprague to win the Central Valley Conference title Thursday night on their Senior Night.
The Olympians held a one-game advantage on the Celtics, and a McNary win would draw them even as the league season draws to a close next week. But, as the match progressed in Sprague’s 24-26, 25-21, 25-22, 25-23 win to lock up the League Championship, neither team backed down.
Both teams weathered the storm. Looking for the slightest of advantage to take as they split the first two sets at McNary High School.
“This game was great. I got ot give it to McNary, they’re a great team and we really had to work for it.. We had to watch their games, look at their sets and watch how their hitters tendencies were. We really had to focus down for it,” Sprague’s Rubie Morrisette said. “This was a really great win for us. We did really good. I got to give it to McNary though, they did really great. They made us work for it.”
Locking it down and focusing it up was what they had to do. It was what they both great teams had to do. This was as good as a playoff game. A taste of what is to come in the coming days when both squads are fighting for the 6A State Title.
Sprague would rally to take the third set and had a 10-6 lead into the fourth set, only to see the Celts rally to tie at 15 and eventually take a 20-18 lead. The Olympians buckled down, eventually retaking the lead at 21-20 before holding off McNary for the four-set victory. Denying the Celts an opportunity of taking it to five sets.
But, like Sprague, McNary’s season has been a fantastic one with both teams heading up to the West Linn Tournament this Saturday before wrapping up league play this next week. The Celtics had two tough, hard-fought games this week with South Salem and now with the Olys as it’ll hopefully make them battle tested for the postseason.
“They’ll help us because challenging games like this will make us better, they make us work harder and the pressure makes us better as a team,” McNary’s Emily Blagg said. “I’m really proud. It’s been a very long season and I’m so proud with how it’s been so far. I think tonight we all just played our best and we’re still there for each other.”
The Celtics wrap up the regular season at West Salem Tuesday after the West Linn Tournament.
Sprague wraps up the regular season hosting North Salem Tuesday before traveling to South Salem.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald